The now-popular Uncharted franchise was nearly called something else out of a fear that the "Uncharted" name would be detrimental to the game's success, Naughty Dog has revealed.
Speaking with IGN, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells said the developer was ready to use "Uncharted" for the game's E3 2006 reveal, but former PlayStation executive Phil Harrison (who now works at Microsoft) said this could be a bad idea.
"We were all ready to go out with [Uncharted]," Wells said. "And then Phil Harrison caught wind of it, and he's like, 'no, we can’t name it Uncharted.' In the UK, if you have a game that's 'uncharted,' that means it didn't do well, it didn't crack the Top 10. So he said, 'no, we can't do that.'"
The trailer for what would later be known as Uncharted: Drake's Fortune was still shown at E3 that year, but only a Naughty Dog logo was displayed at the end. This led fans to label the project "Dude Raider," a reference to the franchise's similarities to the Tomb Raider series, Wells said.
However, about three months later, Harrison changed his mind and allowed the project to go forward with the name Uncharted, Wells said. The series has since spanned three console games (Drake's Fortune, Among Thieves, and Drake's Deception), one project for PlayStation Vita (Uncharted: Golden Abyss), and a card game called Uncharted: Fight for Fortune.